Tuesday, May 8, 2012

With the Wild Things Now

You might have read in the New York Times that Maurice Sendak died today at age 83. Only two weeks ago he was listed among Flavorwire's 10 Grumpiest Living Writers, quoted for his vitriolic opposition of ebooks (“I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book! A book is a book is a book.”) and where I discovered this interview with Stephen Colbert. That was the first time I'd really thought about who the man behind the wild things was, and now, so quickly, he is gone.

I'm not going to get emotional here. Sendak lived a good, long life (as Maude said, eighty seems like a good age) and I am only familiar with two of his books (the famous Where the Wild Things Are and one of my absolute childhood favorites, Pierre). Instead, I'm going to get curious. The little I've learned so far about this fascinating man who provided me with two of my favorite kids' books but who hated to be called the "kiddie-book man" has got me ready to do my research. It's the only way I can think of to pay my respects: to find out who he was and what he lived for.

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